Off The Map Review

You don’t have to be a TV expert to know that the new show, Off the Map that premiered last night on ABC came from the creative team behind Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. It shown so brightly through the entire episode that the only thing disguising it was the fact that it’s set in the “jungle”…no wait, excuse me, “somewhere in south America”, though it’s pretty damn obvious it’s in Hawaii.  I don’t remember which critic I heard it from, because quite frankly they are all saying the same thing (and I agree with most of them), that this show is what you get when you make a 3rd copy off the copy machine; the info is all there, but still it’s a third copy, so its grainy and it doesn’t have good quality. So that is basically what you get with this show.

Off the Map isn’t really supposed to be about the medicine. It’s supposed to be about the characters, because on this show, everyone has something to hide and they basically tell you what it is within the hour.  3 new hot doctors come to the clinic in the jungle because they are all running away from something.  It was actually the actors who play these three young doctors that peaked my interest in the show. I mean one of them is even Meryl Streep’s friggin DAUGHTER, Mamie Gummer (recently seen on The Good Wife).  You also have the brilliant underrated Zach Gilford from Friday Night Lights and Caroline Dhavernas who was one of the best things about the short lived show Wonderfalls. These three actors should have made the show. But their characters were so shallow and bland and copies of characters from Grey’s that it made it hard to root for them.  Dhavernas plays Lily Brenner who could be Meredith Grey’s secret twin (just with dark hair) and she left Residency early because she lost her Fiance ; Gilford is a copy of Alex Karev and Avery White (the newest member of Seattle Grace) who is plastic surgeon who gave up on his family and his hard work just to party and now wants to find himself; and Gummer is just the Caucasian Christina Yang, I mean seriously, that’s all she is, oh, and she misdiagnosed someone who ended up dying. I mean seriously, couldn’t they have added some more originality to these characters?

You also have Jason George playing Otis, who is like the new I dunno, the new Burke maybe? He wants his doctors to do better by teaching them hard lessons. He flirts with Zee, who is the only native doctor on the show and she thinks little of the new doctors because all the past ones have let her down. Then there is the new “McDreamy”, Dr. Ben Keaton the founder of the clinic. He has mystery and heart and all the girls love him because he has a great body. He also clicks with Lily but first he has to deal with that girl who ran out at the beginning of the episode. I think her name was Ryan or something (she’s played by that Victoria chick from Twilight, Rachelle Leferve). Anyways she continues to leave and come back because she’s in a frustrating relationship with Ben, who can’t let go of some chick he “lost.” It’s all very vague.

Off the Map also uses emotional manipulation with its patient storylines and their backstories always parallel our doctor’s storylines. This is all fine and dandy because most doctor procedurals do this. This is not what bugged me about the show. As I said, there is no real originality in this show except for the fact that it is in the Jungle, something I think they can eventually use to their advantage. There is potential for this show. They have the actors, and we know that the creator can probably get some good writers because Shonda Rhimes is the executive producer, so I am sure this show can eventually get itself together. It has the cast to do so because all these actors have proven in the past that they are talented. I just don’t know how long it’s going to take to get there.


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